Dr. María Alma González Pérez was born and raised in Ramireño, TX, a rural community on the Texas – Mexico border.
She graduated as salutatorian of her Zapata High School Class and attended Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in English and Spanish and a minor in education. She then obtained a Master of Arts degree in Spanish at TWU. She has additional certifications in reading, English-as-a-Second Language, and supervision. Her doctorate is in education with specialization in bilingual education from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Her dissertation is entitled “The Relationship Between Spanish Language Proficiency and Academic Achievement Among Graduates of a Small High School in South Texas.”
Dr. Pérez taught English, Spanish, and Creative Writing for the Zapata Independent School District for 21 years. While teaching at Zapata Jr. High School and Zapata High School, she also sponsored many activities such as Student Council, Spanish Honor Society, and UIL ready writing and journalism as well as Spanish prose and poetry. She was honored as Teacher of the Year for Zapata High School in 1990 for her work and dedication to the students of the district.
In 1994 Dr. Pérez fulfilled her dream of going into higher education by accepting a teaching position in the College of Education at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas, where she remained for 3 years. She has also taught at Texas Woman’s University as a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Foreign Languages and at Texas A&M University – Kingsville as a part-time lecturer in the Bilingual Education Department.
Dr. Pérez served as full-time professor of bilingual education with The University of Texas – Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, and then served as director for The University of Texas – Pan American at Starr County campus in Río Grande City, Texas for the past 14 years. The campus specializes in the preparation of bilingual education teachers. To date the campus has graduated over 500 students and boasts a 99.9% graduation rate. Her curriculum vita can be found here.
She enjoys writing bilingual children’s books, Spanish poetry, and chronicling hidden South Texas history.